Philip Jacobson: The Fight To Stop Shark Finning

If you were a kid in the 1970s, you undoubtedly were at least a little terrified of going into the ocean – a fear placed squarely in your subconscious by the Jaws movies. But, according to the International Shark Attack File, there are only around 72 unprovoked shark attacks around the world per year, a relatively small amount given the many sleepless nights and swimming phobias arising from a fear of sharks. The far scarier reality is that the much-demonized shark has long been under attack itself from its greatest predator: us. Humans kill well over 100 million sharks in any given year. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak with Mongabay reporter, Philip Jacobson, to learn about the illegal shark-finning practices of one Chinese-based fishing company, why he believes this practice is far from unique, and what efforts are being taken to save this important apex predator.Read the show transcript

Jared Yates Sexton on American Democracy and Religion

In his book, American Rule: How a Nation Conquered the World but Failed Its People, Jared Yates Sexton writes that “The American Myth paints the process as divinely inspired and the result of a work of distinctly American genius, the Constitution itself an impeccable guide in all things and a means by which freedom and liberty might be bestowed upon every citizen.” This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak with author and podcaster Jared Yates Sexton about his latest book, Midnight Kingdom, discuss the role of Christian Nationalism in the US, and look at the potential ascension of Ron DeSantis as the Republican heir apparent to Donald Trump.Read the show transcript

Wood Pellets: The New Coal

Back in the 16th century, when England began to run out of trees, it started burning coal. And by 1700, most Brits were using coal as their main source of fuel. But then coal became scarce. To come full circle, today England is burning large amounts of wood again – much of it in the form of wood pellets from the US. Wood has somehow been designated as a renewable energy source since the Kyoto Protocol in 1992 and the repercussions have been devastating. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak to journalist Justin Catanoso, a journalism professor at Wake Forest University, about the dangers of this latest transition to a fuel source which is leading to deforestation and pollution. We learn about the wood pellet industry, manufacturing giant Enviva, and the wide-ranging problems caused by burning trees.Read the show transcript

Rebecca Leber: Why the GOP thinks ESG is a BFD

Environmental, social and corporate governance, referred to as ESG, is a set of factors that conscientious capitalists use to identify worthy investments. For most of the movement’s relatively brief existence, ESG has fallen under the purview of sustainability experts. Recently, however, Wall Street appears to have embraced ESG with both arms – according to some estimates, last year over $41 trillion in global ESG assets were traded. This turn has liberals and environmentalists concerned that the definition of what qualifies as an ESG-friendly company may be watered-down. At the same time, prominent Republicans are decrying the use of ESG factors, claiming that it’s part of the “woke mob’s war on fossil fuels.” This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak to Rebecca Leber, a senior climate reporter at Vox. She unpacks the complex conservative position on the ESG movement and explains why she finds it so puzzling and troubling.Read the show transcript

Adam Minter: The Promise of Autonomous Vehicles for Rural America

Have you ever been so tired behind the wheel that you needed to pull over to rest? Well, that’s one of the problems autonomous or self-driving vehicles promise to eliminate. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak with author and Bloomberg Opinion columnist Adam Minter about the world of autonomous vehicles. We examine the impact autonomous vehicles might have on rural America, look at an appealing test program in a sparsely populated area of Minnesota, and explore how the elimination of drivers might assist those who cannot – or should not – be driving.Read the show transcript

Shrimpbox: A Cleaner Approach To Seafood (re-broadcast)

Shrimp is America’s most popular seafood product. Yet, the industry is rife with problems, from human slavery to ecological devastation. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak to Daniel Russek, the founder and CEO of Atarraya, a Mexican-based company whose innovative shrimp farming solution is called Shrimpbox. Russek talks about the problematic practices plaguing the shrimp industry worldwide and gives us a peek into the Shrimpbox approach.Read the show transcript

Waymap CEO Tom Pey (re-broadcast)

Have you ever watched in amazement as a visually impaired person nimbly maneuvers their way through a crowded subway station? Well, some thoughtful innovations are being developed to enable people with low vision to navigate the world with greater ease. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak to the founder and CEO of Waymap, Tom Pey, about his start-up company’s breakthrough navigation technology. We discuss his company’s product, look at some of the challenges that people with disabilities face, and touch upon the promise of autonomous vehicles for those without sight.Read the show transcript

Émile Torres: Effective Altruism + Longtermism Pt. 2

This week on Sea Change Radio, the second half of our two-part series examining the effective altruism movement and “longtermism.” We speak to philosopher Émile Torres to better understand the movement’s futurist vision and its shockingly callous view on climate change. Then we discuss how the Sam Bankman-Fried scandal and ensuing cryptocurrency collapse may end up affecting the future of philanthropy.Read the show transcript

Nurdle Hurdles + Turning Plastic Into Gravel

What is a nurdle, you ask? Is it the latest variation on the popular New York Times puzzle, Wordle? No, not quite. Nurdles are the tiny little petroleum-based building blocks of the plastics industry. And they are literally everywhere. This week on Sea Change Radio, we dig into the archives and talk to Neel Dhanesha of Vox to learn about the role nurdles play in the half-trillion dollar global plastics industry and why they are a big problem for the environment. Then, we hear about a small, innovative company that is recycling all sorts of plastics and turning them into gravel. We speak to the founder and CEO, Sebastián Sajoux, about the technology and mission of his company, Arqlite.Read the show transcript

Alexander Zaitchik on Effective Altruism + Longtermism

As the news that thirty year-old cryptocurrency baron, Sam Bankman-Fried‘s, FTX empire suddenly collapsed, the residual effects reverberated in the spheres of business, politics and philanthropy. Bankman-Fried was one of the largest donors to and a huge proponent of effective altruism, a social and philosophical movement started by academics Peter Singer, Toby Ord, and William MacAskill. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak to author and journalist Alexander Zaitchik to learn more about the effective altruism movement and its offshoot known as “longtermism.” We discuss how longtermism sprung from effective altruism, how the downfall of Bankman-Fried might change the mega-philanthropy space moving forward, and how the movement all too often ignores the immediate threat of climate change.Read the show transcript